Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quick! Do Something!

The world's a mess! Violence. War. Pollution. People are hungry, homeless, lonely, sick, living in fear, or isolation, or poverty, or ignorance, or pain or . . . Are you depressed yet? Feeling overwhelmed by the needs?

We could let it make us feel helpless or hopeless. But that only makes matters worse.

Instead, let's do something!

It is our job to change the world. Yeah, you, me, all of us. Each one of us can do something every day to make the world better.

Really. We can!

No matter your circumstances, there is always something you can do. The secret is to not minimize the small changes you can make. If you think you have to solve all the world's problems on your own then you will get depressed.

Just remember that each small act of compassion on your part makes the world a little better. And with more of us making more of those little differences things will change. Think about how water wears away stone. If water drops on a stone over and over and over again, it will wear the stone down, change it. Think of the world's problems as stones and our acts of compassion as drops of water wearing them away.

So, what acts of compassion could you do?

Of course, your personal circumstances will determine many of your choices. If you don't have much money you cannot personally fund a cause you care about all by yourself. But you can do something to raise money for it. Look at all the interest in community funding through websites like Go Fund Me. Someone starts it and encourages others to contribute.Then things change for someone because of everyone working together.

And don't ignore the power of regularly setting aside a bit of money at a time to make a meaningful gift later. Maybe you can only set aside a dollar a week. You'll have a donation of $52 at the end of a year. That can make a difference somewhere.

If you are physically able you can still volunteer in countless ways to address problems in your community and beyond. What cause do you care about? What are your skills? Find a group or organization that can use your participation to make a difference in people's lives.

Think you don't have any time? There are still many little things you can do that won't interrupt your busy schedule. Sometimes something as small as a smile for someone who doesn't seem to have one can make a difference for that person. And who knows what that difference will become when they then interact with others. Remembering to open a door for someone or helping them manage their load or sharing your umbrella really can brighten someone's day.

Small random acts of kindness can turn the day around in someone's life and that makes the world a little better in that moment and in that day and in that part of the world. Paying it forward impacts more than just the person you help. It keeps the kindness spreading outward into the world beyond you.

So maybe together we can change the world in significant ways if we all choose to do something. Over the next couple of weeks let's brainstorm what we might do?

How about helping me make a list of acts of compassion/kindness that someone [even me or you] could do to make a positive difference in this mess of a world? Okay? Then we can encourage more to join in changing the world for the better.

Leave your ideas in the comments and we'll compile a list to help others choosing to make this a better place for all.


  1. Some things seem like common decency but that has fallen by the wayside. Hold doors for people. Ask if you can help load their groceries into their car or take the cart back for them. Buy the guy behind you in the drive thru a cup of coffee. Bring bottled water to construction crews (especially highway crews). Say thank you every single opportunity. Complement a stranger--nice dress, great coat, love the shoes, etc. Make 30's, 40's 50's music cd's for rest homes. Buy a bunch of daisies and hand them out to support staff at the hospital (those who aren't doctors or nurses never get any thanks!)

  2. Exactly! Everything makes a difference. It is so easy to find a positive act that would make a bit of difference. And you are so good at it!

  3. It seems like a first world thing, but I have recently taken to paying for coffee for the car behind me in the starbucks line. I started this when someone did it for me. I got to the window to pay for my drink and the car ahead had already done so. It made my day, so I have been doing it for others ever since. There is something about just being kind that helps me face the bigger, harder issues.

    1. And there is evidence that "just being kind" makes one healthier, so say nothing of how it helps create peace. Thank you for your kindness. The world needs you!

  4. I really like your "Do Something" series - and for those of us who have a hard time being creative and thinking up specifics, your lists are a HUGE help. If someone would like to give of their time, there are a couple of good sites that help match volunteers to non-profits that need helpers. Check out and (deals specifically with ending child hunger in the US). There's also a great article from a couple of years ago in Columbus Monthly that gave web addresses for 44 ways to volunteer in Columbus and many of the needs have not been eliminated - so check it out to!

  5. Thank you, Margaret, for your appreciation AND for your suggestions. That is what will make the list even more useful. And you know me, I want to be useful! LOL